NASCAR DFS: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Following the Charlotte Roval, which eliminated Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and William Byron from playoff contention, NASCAR will now concentrate on the first of three races at Texas Motor Speedway. The winner of last week’s race, Kyle Larson, will lead from the pole. He will be seated beside Denny Hamlin. Looking at the track specs for Texas Motorspeedway, it is a 1.44-mile quad-oval.

Even with Texas Motorspeedway being close to 1.5 miles in length, this event still takes 334 laps to complete (making it a dominators track). To have the best chance of winning, one needs at least two drivers who can each lead a good portion of the laps (and fastest laps). In addition, you will want to ensure that you have a dark horse option in your arsenal. Note that last year the top two drivers, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer, each led more than 80 laps. You also had two separate drivers, each leading 40 laps or more.

This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Fortworth, TX. The selections are broken down between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel (FD) and DraftKings (DK). Best of luck to everyone with lineups this weekend.

High Salary

Ryan Blaney (11,000 FD | 9,500 DK)

As he was last season, Blaney has been fantastic since hitting the fall schedule. Unlike his Penske teammates, he maintained a competitive edge throughout the Roval. Aside from finishing ninth, he also put up a 103.1 driver rating. His last seven Texas visits have seen him finish in the top eight or better six times (Blaney has also led 255 laps). He led several of these laps during last year’s July race, in which he went off for 150 laps. Taking into account that Harvick finished second with 40 laps.

He’s going to be starting on the second row, which leaves him with a chance to shake things up from the green flag. I understand people will be chasing whales like Larson and Hamlin. Still, Blaney deserves a look. He has the potential to elevate you to a higher level if he pans out.

Kevin Harvick (10,000 FD | 10,900 DK)

Until he collided with the turn one wall late in Sunday’s race, Harvick held a slim lead over Brad Keselowski for the final transfer spot. Had Harvick survived and made it to the round of eight, he’d have had Texas upcoming, a track where he has led 451 laps in six previous visits. There is a large gap between him and Kyle Busch, who sits second with 301 laps led. In last October, he ended a string of top 10 runs, which included a pair of wins.

Harvick isn’t typically the highest-salaried driver on DraftKings this season. On top of his long track record of success there over the last few years, he is currently positioned 24th in the starting lineup for Sunday, making him an intriguing pivot option. Although I wouldn’t expect him to dominate like he used to, if Harvick can lead between 30 to 40 laps and rattle off a top five run, that should be enough to compensate for his value.


Christopher Bell (9,000 FD | 8,300 DK)

In the wake of rotten performances at Bristol and Las Vegas, respectively, Bell had to pull himself together. He did so at Talladega the following week, finishing top five. With just one race remaining in the round of 12, Bell’s points deficit became so large that he had no choice but to win. He finished eighth, which was respectable but not nearly good enough.

In Bell’s two limited trips to Texas as a Cup driver, the results have been quite mixed. After finishing 21st in his rookie year, he followed it up last year with a strong podium result. It isn’t expected that he will lead many laps, but he does rank fifth in fastest laps this season. Occasionally he can be a little bit frustrating, but most weekends Bell will have a car that can challenge for a top ten. He is a good steady mid-ranger this weekend.

Value Play

Erik Jones (6,000 FD | 6,600 DK)

As far as Jones’ success at Texas is concerned, the proof is certainly in the pudding. Up until his latest 21st place result at this track, Jones was in a zone, finishing 10th or better in five straight Texas trips. In 2018, Jones led 64 laps here after starting from the 21st position. I do not anticipate him leading many laps on Sunday, but racking up a handful of laps led simply based on pit strategy is possible.

Despite the struggles he’s suffered through this season, he placed eighth at Bristol and ninth at Talladega during these playoffs, two of NASCAR’s most challenging tracks. Now that Jones is racing at one of his best career tracks in Texas, he has a good chance to maintain his progress.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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